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Other Edges of the World: Symposium

April 23,2023 - April 23,2023

April 23, 2023 @ 10:00 am 5:00 pm

Millions of people have fled Ukraine to escape the war, many of them artists, curators, and other cultural professionals. Various initiatives and organization networks were created to help them, and a lot of art institutions and residence programs accommodated their plans to suit them.

During the previous year, both institutions and individuals needed to overcome a number of unexpected challenges and, over time, the biggest one appears to be the utility, from financial aid and satisfying the interests of individual actors and institutions to more theoretical questions of decolonizing Central and Eastern Europe.

Our one-day symposium Other Edges of the World, which is part of a project of the same name funded by the Creative Europe program, is going to focus on these exact theoretical and practical aspects of the issues of art and conflict and artists in exile.

Keynote speakers:
Dr. Bernadette BuckleyManoeuvres and Militarisation: Women Artists and the Politics of Preparing for War

While much ‘war art’ venerates the artist as a ‘witness’ to war, focussing on the event or the repercussions of conflict, this paper takes a different point of departure.  It argues that, by considering ‘war’ from the perspective of training, drilling, and preparation, women artists make a major, if frequently overlooked contribution to the knowledge and understanding of war.  If ‘late’ or ‘aftermath’ photography (Campany, 2003) sought to direct the spectator to the calamitous events of war by drawing our attention to the remnants and echoes left behind ‘after the fact’, then these women artists consider war from the other way around – problematizing and complicating assumptions about war by exploring underlying practices of preparation, rehearsal, and training.  Looking at a wide variety of examples, the paper will consider how women artists can shift the often-narrow focus of discussions about war by challenging and reimagining its past, present, and future – not as that which has already occurred, but as that which is always and ever about to happen.

Mariia Vorotilina: Greetings from Eastern Europe: Ukraine and the Emancipatory Practices

In the wake of the war of Russia against Ukraine, the gaps in understanding of “Eastern”-“Western” European relations became more visible. The neocolonial gaze of the “West” towards “Eastern” Europe has shaped the patterns that include, but are not limited to, the generalization of cultures and experiences of people living within the region, resource depletion of lands, exploitation of migrant workers, the superiority of academia and knowledge production. Art and activism are also not liberated from this gaze, reproducing neocolonial patterns and reinforcing them.

During the keynote, Mariia Vorotilina will speak about the patterns that exist in relations between “Eastern” and “Western” Europe, based on specific examples from academia, activism, and art. The talk will also bring into focus artistic and activist emancipatory practices that have evolved in Ukraine over the past years.

Panel Discussion no 1: New Reality 
Moderator: Maria Yarchuk 

This panel discussion will gather initiatives supporting artists and cultural workers who suffered from the war and Ukrainian artists. Suddenly we find ourselves in a new reality where old approaches don’t exist and patterns don’t work and in this situation, we can learn a lot from each other to elaborate a new vision. We will talk about major changes which happened in the organizations during the last year and why they decided to transform their activities. How the war has influenced the Ukrainian art scene and how this experience can be implemented in other contexts. Even now, we can start seeing the results of these new collaborations and try to think about where it can bring us in the future.

Panel Discussion no 2: Who, when, and how. On the practical challenges of helping others
Moderator: Emma Broasó 

This second-panel discussion is designed as a workgroup in which several initiatives geared towards supporting cultural professionals in need will share their experiences and difficulties. What legal frameworks do you need to provide aid for exiled artists? What strategies can be implemented to obtain the funds required? How can you create solidarity networks amongst organizations or individuals with similar goals? As cultural initiatives with specific missions, visions, and restrictions, how do we make sure we generate the right conditions for those artists and cultural professionals that we so much want to help?


Discussion participants:

TEJA. Cultural Spaces Network in Support of Emergency Situations (ES): Flavia Introzzi
ArtivistLab (CZ): Tamara Moyzes 
SDK Słonecznik (PL): Yulia Krivich, Maria Beburia
Latvian Center for Contemporary Art (LV): Solvita Krese
ESI – Emergency Support Initiative, VCRC: Serge Klymko

Katarina Mamchur (UA), Jana Shostak (BY/PL), Olena Siyatovska (UA) 

Discussion hosts:
Emma Brasó (hablarenarte, ES)
Mariia Yarchuk (Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture, UA)

Ke Sklárně 3213/15
Praha 5, 150 00 Czech Republic
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